Gillian Arnold, chair of BCSWomen said, ‘Female representation in the IT professions has changed little in the past 10 years despite significant growth in the number of women working in IT roles (up 19 per cent between 2004 and 2014). This is just not sustainable if the UK is going to remain competitive in this field and fill its looming skills gap. Employers are missing out on 50 per cent of the talent available and we need to take action to address this as a profession and as a nation.’
The report shows that female representation within IT occupations ranges from one third (33 per cent) of employees working as web design & development professionals to less than one in 10 (10 per cent) working as IT directors. Amongst those employed as programmers and software developers (the largest group of IT specialists) only around one in 10 (13 per cent) are women.
Karen Price OBE, CEO, The Tech Partnership added, ‘Employers are profoundly concerned by the tech sector’s continued difficulties in appealing to women, and they are working hard to implement programmes that attract, recruit and retain female talent. But they know that the problem has much deeper roots – girls’ disaffection with technology starts at school.
‘Last year just eight per cent of Computing A Levels went to female candidates. Real progress will require concerted action by government, industry and education: the Tech Partnership’s own TechFuture programmes are making a real difference to young women’s attitudes to technology, and showing how much can be achieved when everyone works to a common goal.’